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Old 01 September 2010, 15:02   #1
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Fixed VHF without a console

I occasionally take my 15' Avon from LA harbor to Catalina Island (~25 miles each way) and though I think I'm pretty well covered for emergency communications (6 watt handheld VHF, SPOT, handheld EPIRB and a cell phone) I'm considering adding a fixed 25 watt VHF and antenna to provide greater range.

My boat is set up with for tiller steering so I will have to mount the VHF and antenna on a SS bracket on the transom.

I'm wondering if anyone with a similar arrangement has any tips or pics that I could draw upon for inspiration.

Cheers,

Jon
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Old 01 September 2010, 15:29   #2
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Um, well done you on the 25 mile passages!

You will have to mount the antenna on the transom, but you could use a radio box located further forward, albiet something of a flexible fixture. IMO, a VHF on the transom of a 4.5 is going to get trashed, and if you need it...
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Old 01 September 2010, 15:49   #3
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Not along the lines you are thinking I'm sure but shows what can be achieved in a small boat.
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Old 01 September 2010, 15:57   #4
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Do you think you'll get much improvement given that aerial height is biggest factor (and its not the tip of the aerial that counts). So a 2m aerial is probably "no taller" than an average man standing up with a h/held.
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Old 01 September 2010, 16:11   #5
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The biggest improvement will be from the 25w output of a fixed vhf over a 4/5w handheld. Plus a decent antenna with a higher dB gain will further improve both tx and rx range.

Under normal circumstance I'd say a bit pointless on a sib but being 12.5 miles offshore and possibly? 25miles from the nearest coastal radio station isn't normal circumstance!
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Old 02 September 2010, 11:25   #6
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I would lay pretty good odds that the CG would hear your handheld pretty well from the Santa Barbara Channel. They've got big antennas on the mountains there. Might be worth calling them sometime on an "information" broadcast ("Hey, something's floating in the water here; wouldn't want anyone to hit it...") just to do a real-world comm check.

That said, more power means you'd have a better chance of reaching a nearby vessel, which may be pretty useful if you happen to be in distress at the time. CG response may be up to (or over) an hour, depending on where you are.

jky
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Old 02 September 2010, 14:13   #7
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Can you guys not do radio checks with the CG? It's standard practice here...
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Old 02 September 2010, 15:42   #8
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Can you guys not do radio checks with the CG? It's standard practice here...
We can (I hear them off and on) but they would prefer you use another vessel and make chit chat with them to check signals.
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Old 02 September 2010, 15:43   #9
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Can you guys not do radio checks with the CG? It's standard practice here...
We can (I hear them off and on) but they would prefer you use another vessel and make chit chat to check signals that way.
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Old 02 September 2010, 15:59   #10
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We can (I hear them off and on) but they would prefer you use another vessel and make chit chat with them to check signals.
So would ours - but I think they have a more open attitude if the idea is to establish range/coverage to their mast (which obviously no one else can do).
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